I have more camps to blog about including the 25th. Right now I want to share a little behind the scenes of my adventures. Before I started this film the farthest I drove an ATV was about a half mile. I’ve always been the passenger. I greatly enjoyed cruising through the woods and trails this past year on my own. Nervous sometimes about driving up steep clay or root covered hills on the way to some camps. I did not enjoy driving it out to a camp 4 miles from my house on opening day of deer season in below freezing weather. Thought I might lose a thumb to frostbite until I realized I could stuff a hand warmer into the thumb part of my glove. Warning, they do tear easy.
The second day of deer season Justin was at camp so I was on my own for hauling the 4-wheeler out to a couple camps (further than 4 miles from my house). Al Kurtti lent me his ATV trailer and I learned how to back it up and turn it around. It wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. I figured it out and how to strap the 4-wheeler down with ratchet straps. I hauled it out to Sleepy Hollow Road and back home in one piece.
I realized I have been spoiled leaving Woodtick Camp all these years. I’ve only had to carry a small backpack with light supplies or small dog up and down the hill. Justin pulled the sled with all my gear for Dad’s interview last winter. I hauled my camera bag up the hill a handful of times throughout the year and that was heavy enough. Opening day of deer season I was on my own to pull the sled full of gear up the hill. After I sat in the snow and cold and videotaped my dad hunting opening morning for two hours. He doesn’t sit in a stand or blind. He sits on the top of a hill out in the elements. I sat in the snow next to him and probably scared any deer within a mile. I’m not the quietest person. After we got back to camp and warmed up, I hiked up the 300 yard, snow and ice covered hill with my sled full of gear in tow. It was the most physically challenging thing I’ve ever done.
This film has also been one of the most psychologically challenging things I’ve ever done. I’m not one to walk up to complete strangers and start a conversation. I’m an introvert with a little social anxiety mixed in. Put a camera in my hand and I’m a little braver. I’ve met with leaseholders for the first time over coffee, breakfast or just walked up to their camp doors and introduced myself. Having something in common with them has helped. This past week I’ve driven through snowstorms and snowshoed out to their camps. I hope that show my dedication to this film and I will do whatever it takes to make it a success.